Towns Action Network: August 2023 Gathering

Join the August gathering of the Towns Action Network – which will focus on empowering active citizens in regenerating South Africa’s small towns. 

Author: Nobungcwele Mbem


This interactive meeting of the Towns Action Network (TAN) will showcase changemaking initiatives that enhance accountability between active citizens and municipalities.   

When: 24 August 2023, 14:30-16:30

Where: Zoom (registration is essential)

Gathering highlights 

  • How active citizens are helping to cocreate solutions
  • Insights from government institutions and changemaker organisations
  • The role of active citizens in the Small Towns Regeneration strategy   

All individuals and organisations interested in catalysing change and regeneration in towns are welcome to join – so please share widely.     

Speakers include

  • Istell Orton, Professional Planner, Citeplan
  • Paul Smith, Local Government Support Head, Kagiso Trust   
  • Petrus van Niekerk, Senior Advisor: Economic & Regional Development, SALGA    

Interested in presenting stories, learnings or findings that showcase active citizenry at the gathering? Contact Nobungcwele Mbem, EDP Project Lead at

Why the focus on ‘Action for Accountability: The Role of Active Citizens’? 

Active citizens are essential for well-governed towns where people thrive and prosper. They bring much needed local knowledge and resources and empower community ownership. By working collaboratively with local government and their communities, citizens can help co-create solutions that drive the sustainable development and wellbeing of their towns.

The TAN theme ‘Action for Accountability’ calls for citizens and government officials to step into practical action together to enable regeneration, growth, and transformation.  Active citizens could, for example play a role in piloting the Small Towns Regeneration (STR) strategy by ensuring that the voices of local communities are included.

About the Towns Action Network (TAN)

TAN is an action-inspired learning and support network which aims to catalyse the untapped potential of struggling towns. It fosters collaborative action between local municipalities, residents and business for sustainable change and impact.

The network’s activities – designed to inspire joint action to revive small town economies and build mutual accountability – are co-led by the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and six other Support Partners.– Ranyaka, Kagiso TrustRestaurare/ Citeplan, Karoo Development Foundation, Accountability Lab SAPublic Affairs Research Institute (PARI),South African Local Government Association (SALGA).